Preparing for a New Reality: Teachers Learn New Skills at Metro Tech Camp

Teachers attend workshops about how video games, virtual reality could be added to curriculum

MOORHEAD, Minn. —¬†School might not be in session at Horizon Middle School, but hundreds of teachers flood the hallways to learn how virtual reality and video games could impact their students.

“Technology is used every day in the classroom, and it’s just important to learn the updates and all the new things out there for the kids,” said Cari Lake, a school social worker at Dilworth Elementary School.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at the Sesame Workshop says only 9% of teachers nationwide incorporate video games into their curriculum.

With more than 90% of students saying they play video games, educators think this new knowledge could positively impact students.

“It’s not just substituting a worksheet or substituting a pen and paper, it’s how can they create, how can they analyze, how can they go above and beyond what we’re presenting them,” said William Rodriguez, an Associate Professor at Concordia College.

Educators say that virtual reality and video games are essential for children to learn valuable communication skills in the classroom, but for those who don’t think video games and VR are the future, all you have to do is take a different look.

Some say that the perception of kids being glued to their screens could actually be beneficial in an educational setting.

“Most kids are using their phones to communicate, which I don’t agree with, but getting them to do these different things and ideas in school is going to help them communicate better,” said Lake.

Even students are on board.

“Students are a little more tech savvy than some of the teachers, so it’s kind of fun to see that they’re learning more technology and seeing different ways that technology can be implemented into the classrooms to make learning a little more different,” said Jacob Anderson, a senior at Sheyenne High School and one of the Student Ambassadors for the Metro Tech Camp.

The second day of the Metro Tech Camp will take place tomorrow from 8 to 4 pm at Horizon Middle School.

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